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Florida Firefighter adopts baby girl he found in a safety drop off box

An unexpected surprise

Firefighters have saved many lives throughout the years. On January 2nd, 2023 a firefighter in Ocala, Florida would get the surprise of his life. While working an overnight shift at his station, he became startled by an alarm.

That alarm was for the station’s Safe Haven Baby Box. A Safe Haven Baby Box is a device that allows for mothers who are unable to support their child to safely and legally surrender their child.  

On January 5th, Ocala Fire Rescue announced on their Facebook page that Florida’s first and only Safe Haven Baby Box received its first child after two years. The Ocala Baby Box installation took place in December 2020 and it is the only one in the state of Florida. The box is one of 134 Safe haven Baby Boxes around the country.  

Monica Kelsey, Safe haven founder, in a press conference thanked the mother who surrendered her baby, saying “We want to address the parents who legally surrendered this infant. And right now, I’m going to talk directly to her or him,” she said. “Thank you for bringing your child to a place that you knew was going to take care of this child. And thank you for doing what you felt was best.”

Source New York Post

A new member of the family

The firefighter who remains anonymous, states in an interview with Today saying, “To be honest, I thought it was a false alarm” he continues to say “I picked her up and held her. We locked eyes, and that was it. I’ve loved her ever since that moment.”

Him and his wife have struggled with conception for over a decade, he told Today. They named their new daughter Zoey who is now almost six months old. The couple adopted Zoey in April, four month’s after they brought her home.

What is Safe Haven?

Monica founded Safe Haven after discovering that she had been abandoned as a baby. Her mother left her in a baby box at a Church in Cape Town, South Africa. After her mother was sexually assaulted at 17, Monica’s life mission became to educate at risk mothers and save the lives of innocent babies.

Source Chicago Tribune

According to their website no babies have died from abandonment, since the state of Alabama installed theirs in 2016.

Thankfully, they provide at risk mother’s with resources. Safe Haven has received over 8,000 crisis calls from mothers, and have helped to refer over 500 mothers to at risk pregnancy centers. Safe Haven has over 153 safety baby boxes nationwide. Since 2017, they have had 32 babies surrendered and cared for by their safety baby boxes.

Additionally, you can find Safe Haven Baby Boxes in the following states: Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Alabama and Arizona.  

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